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Intelligent Design: An Evolutionary Sandbox

A toy ecosystem with fully simulated genetics and evolution. · By Pill Bug Interactive

Update History Sticky

A topic by Pill Bug Interactive created Jun 12, 2016 Views: 3,167 Replies: 51
Viewing posts 1 to 41

Here I'm going to keep a full history of the updates and only keep the most recent change log on the store page.

Alpha 2 Release Notes

I've added mouse look in the new build, click and hold the right mouse button to enable it.

Alpha 3 Release Notes (29/05/2016)

  • Added a basic tutorial
  • Added option to invert Y axis for camera (in system menu)
  • Slightly changed atmosphere colour to make text easier to read

Alpha 4 Release Notes (04/06/2016)

  • Added an on-line scoreboard
  • First time you launch the game after the update you will be asked for a username, limited to 4 characters (I want the UI to be small), only keyboard input at the moment
  • Every in-game day your score will be uploaded and updated and the player above you and below you in the scoreboard will be downloaded and shown

Alpha 4b Release Notes (05/06/2016)

  • Fixed a big which stopped players from selecting menu items (introduced in alpha 4)
  • Added blood splatter effects
  • Server side hot-fix (08/06/2016) - I have fixed a small bug on the server which was occasionally reporting the wrong leader board positions
Developer (1 edit)

Alpha 5 Release Notes (12/06/2016)

  • Changed collider of creatures to try and reduce them falling on their back
  • Reduced reproduction rate of herbivores and carnivores
  • Change score formula
  • Added rocks
  • Added lots of sound, reset the tutorial for a treat :)
  • Added some particle effects

Alpha 6 Release Notes (26/06/2016)

  • Added spawn animations for creatures and buildings
  • Extended vision range for all creatures
  • Increased maximum rainfall to improve plant survivability
  • Increased maximum view distance of creatures to encourage more migration
  • Improved performance

Alpha 7 Release Notes (07/07/2016)

  • Graph update! (Stretch goal 1)
  • Graphs can now be toggled on and off using the UI
  • Data will only be recorded from the first time you play the updated client
  • As well as displaying data in game, the data is saved as an xml file in the save game location - I would love to see some cool data visualisations! The xml file updates each time you quick save.

Alpha 8 Release Notes (17/07/2016)

  • Added a main menu
  • At present each cubicle is a different save slot, the first one will load your current game
  • Selecting new game and then saving will overwrite any old save in a slot
  • There are some secret subtle difference between each save slot, I will be adding more in the future

Alpha 9 Release Notes (28/07/2016)

  • Added a second map, launch it by selecting the second cubicle and launching a new game
  • Improved lighting and visuals in general, the drone's spot light is more effective at dawn and dusk, fixed some shadow artifacts on the terrain
  • Improved flight model (this is a temporary step to a complete over hall in the future)
  • Changed plant growth behavior to be reflective of available resources
(1 edit)

Any plans of other things i can do with the extra biomass i now have a surplus of?

Btw great game. huge fan im trying to spread the word of this great game its very rare to see a game of genetics anymore

Developer (1 edit)

Thanks for the support and trying to spread the word. Where have you tried sharing it? I'm forever trying to figure out what communities would be interested in the game.

To answer your question yes and no....

My yes thoughts...

I've been thinking a lot about adding new buildings... For example a building which is the opposite of a collector which gives out biomass to nearby plants, kind of like a sprinkler system. I've also thought about a weather station building with a wind vain.

I've also been thinking about adding buildings which harvest creatures - essentially abattoirs - for meat. This would also add a more solid objective to the game, perhaps moving it more towards a farming game.

My no thoughts...

I'm also balancing this with the voice in my head which says "stop, polish the game and release it on steam".

What do you think? I'd love to hear your ideas...

Edit: Also feel free to comment and vote on my trello, I'm going to try and use it more

Well one community is of course the steam community and i also talk about it in the voice chat when i play csgo.. another one is the roblox game that all the little kids play they offer advirtising that is pretty cheap compared to other gaming websites. I try to drop the names of good games when i hear people say they are bored

Now if you want a lot of attention when you get your game polished off and get alot more content in it you should try and contact these few youtubers that is the most powerful way to get your name out there Here are the youtuber channels These guys focus primarily on strategy games or games where you create things EX: Spore, cities skylines, Tycoon games, rimworld, many other alpha games

Heres the names and links

If you want just a start there is this guy if he is interested he will definitely put it out there Ryan or toxic time waster he has around 19k people who watch his channel and climbing he is the one i watched to decide if i want to buy a game or not.

This is a much bigger channel and this guy loves to play early alpha games he has almost 400k people that watch him

one of my favorite people to watch is this nice brittish guy that goes by latherix 138k if you ask him nicely and tell him a bit about your game theres a good chance he might give it a couple episodes just to show people

Make sure you give these guys the link to your game home page so they can put it in the description if viewers want to play it

Youtubers are one of the best tools for feedback on the game, to see if theres a bug, something that might need to be balenced, or just to see what mechanics people enjoy.

Origin Drms are harder to pirate of course and you might make a bit extra going through them as well that is if they accept it

For the no thought the game can run fine as is right now i dont seem to have any problem currently performance wise and im on a horrible notebook for office work Steam release

Me having bought many many games through steam i tend to avoid buying a game until it has a lot of content because i like to pick up right away play it for possibly days at a time most of my games have at least 500 hours on them

To the yes thoughts that sounds amazing

So yeah YouTube is for sure the best way to get your name out there as it is of course the way most very early alpha games got off the ground.

Let me know what you think

Something i was wanting to see on the plant side i have no clue how long it is for the plant to make a seed or how many seeds it will make so i was wondering if there could be some little seed pod or something like a flower ( i have no idea) to see the seed production so i can keep track of what plants grow and spread faster

I was wondering what you plan to do with the plant and animal models past basic shapes and if theres a way that i could save specific animals and plants and give it a name so if i lose it to some random circumstance i could not have all my research down the toilet

Sorry for the big post

also on the drone i sometimes feel the urge to look up for perspective on how big something must look from the animals perspective but i can only turn my camera vertical 90 degrees down and front XD i know its a drone with a bottom camera but still its the future dont they have any other types of drones

another thing is maybe to drain some of that extra biomass there could be a store for upgrading the drone like horrible nerf the drone to start off with and then give it abilities for purchase so i feel like im improving

hmm possibly you could start as a player from the ground you have to walk around and then you can purchase the drone to deploy it and use it for a different perspective? just thinking of things to do with buying and biomass at the moment

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One more thing its harder for me to find your game because when i search intelligent design i of course am directed to lessons and speeches on intelligent design instead of the fun game

That will probably change to your game being top result burying them instead when your game gets more popular

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possible animal adaptation to the environment ex avian herb and carn as well as aquatic (this is expanding on my idea of the third map being a tropical island setting with water)

Developer (1 edit)

Alpha 10 Release Notes (14/08/2016)

  • Unity version updated to 5.4
  • Creatures reproduction is more reliant on food
  • Skybox colours have been changed
  • Implemented a Level of Detail system which should improve performance
  • Reduced poly count on many meshes
  • Added ambient occlusion
  • Reduced overall particle count in particle effects
  • Tweaked creature and egg sizes
  • Optimised plant behavior
  • Fixed a bug with creature swarm behavior for avoiding obstacles
  • Wind speed depends on height above ground
(2 edits)

Nice! I'll test it tomorrow and see how it works. Glorious progress

  • Alright! LOD is working great and the particles are no longer so laggy when i have alot on the screen
  • when ever i right click to turn the camera im getting the beep from it selecting the organisms tab
  • I can finally look up which is awesome so i can see what time of day it is
  • Putting extra voltage into my cpu on this notebook did defintly help
  • I upped my GPU frequency from 200 MHz to 780 using amd overdrive and graphics run smoothly so about 500 and lower gets slow and it looks like 2.0GHz processor is what is minimum to run ok
  • Spamming random plants/animals spawn in no longer causes massive loss of frames

All and all the optimization seems to be working great for medium low build computers and my bare bone office computer can run it decent now


Awesome, glad to hear the performance is better.

gene animal variation (very far future)

Genes that determine mode of transportation ex insect legs like millipede arachnid ant ect wings. Water transportation like fins gill efficiency for if it needs surface air at all like whales or amphibians or if it can stay under water indefinitely. Still going on a water and or island based map... Nests like birds fish insects land animals etc birds could use cliff faces or trees possibly. Mating behavior like how many eggs or live birth at one time and how fast. Animals defense/offence like it has a high speed so it will use that to advantage over other options or it has horns or spikes so only an animal that has evolved a good way of handling it would choose it as a priority meal. Underwater plants. Possibly genes that determine if it is carnivore herbivore or omnivore to do away with just carnherb limit. Possible gene to determine how likely male or female and how often they mate from rats to I don't know... Some kind of animal that doesn't mate a lot.

Something I would like to see is another smaller forcefield generator that let's me pick position and size of field in its range because I find the current one bulky and hard to manage

Much later... Probably a map maker for people to make (massive) maps with rivers lakes oceans mountains deserts forests ect

A minimap that you press m for to see the plants and animals positions on map with terrain and hitting m again gets map hidden off screen to not clutter stuff

Possible voice actor that you can synth to make it say what is needed

Also I'm intently staring at the trello screen every night to see what the science might be. I love the suspence and not knowing to be surprised like the first time I saw your game and think wow thats pretty awesome.

Love the progress and I'm spreading your game to my friends and small YouTube channels to gain attention and I can't wait to purchase the full game in the far future and I will see what I can do with donations in the time being but my union has screwed up my paycheck yet again so things are tight as they didn't close the ticket and took over 300 in client payed twice meaning I have to wait for them to reissue the check next month... Back to ramen anyways love the game I'm still playing alpha 10 since last week still find it fun to tinker with


Don't feel you have to donate, seriously, I just really appreciate the enthusiasm.

Let me know if any of those youtubers make a video! A lot of the gene stuff you have mentioned is actually already in the game - the science update (which I'm working on now) will expose that a bit more.


Alpha 11 Release Notes (26/08/2016)

  • Changed the particle effects for spawning to improve performance
  • Added a science research system. You can now build research stations which generate science. This science can then be used to unlock abilities.
  • Some UI tweaks


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With Great power comes great responsibility... well i abused that power so i think we need a way to kill invasive species because i have massive plants when who's seeds land send animals flying and leave a giant blue plant in the map and it spreads very fast


Awesome, could you take a screenshot? Maybe I'll add an orbital strike?

if i can get it to recreate The seeds were huge and slow and the plant had to be atleast 8 or 9 digits in biomass but the limiter only goes to 7 places and the plant was massive im trying to recreate it

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and a seed drag of 100 leaves seeds that never touch ground and become more like static objects or air mines to the drone

Could the massive size of been a bug just how other things don't render proporly like spamming upgrade?


Alpha 12 Release Notes (29/08/2016)

  • The economy has been re-balanced to allow more varied strategies and to slow the progression slightly
  • Prestige levels in science can no longer be negative
  • You can no longer upgrade a research station while it is currently being upgrading
  • Fixed a bug where the research stations were not being correctly upgraded when loading saved data
  • Force fields are now toggled via a context menu
  • Added a background to the UI buttons
  • Added a mute button
  • Reduced UI draw calls
  • Seeds now have a limited lifespan
  • Added LOD system to research stations

this is working much better thanks I'm still trying to cause the giant plant


Alpha 12a Release Notes (31/08/2016)

  • Fixed a bug where the upgrades of research stations were not appearing correctly
  • Fixed a bug where upgrade cost was incorrectly calculated on load

Alpha 13 Release Notes (11/09/2016)

  • Force field size can now be adjusted with a slider
  • Adjusted economy balance
  • Removed the tutorial in favor of a list of objectives/achievements to guide the player
  • Added first music track. This was created especially for the game by MIDIEvil Studios. You will not hear the track play all the time, keep playing and it will play.

Alpha 14 Release Notes (17/09/2016)

  • Increased music file quality
  • Music now has a 70% chance of playing each night rather than 100%
  • More re-balance of economy
  • Xbox one controller should work now due to Microsoft driver update
  • Stars :)

Alpha 14b Release Notes (20/09/2016)

  • Improved camera controls

Update 15 Release Notes (23/09/2016)

  • Added a third map
  • Added a volume slider to the system menu
  • Tool tips now appear when the player mouses over a button
  • Player starting location has been moved
  • Added a quick message at start of game
  • Changed size of unlock window so you no longer have to scroll
  • Force field slider only appears when force field is on
  • There are now range indicators for all buildings
  • When focus is lost from the menu it selects the last selected button rather than the creature button
  • Increased science income rate slightly
  • Added some controls diagrams to tooltips

Update 15b Release Notes (25/09/2016)

  • Spent most of the weekend optimising the physics and genetics simulation, most of you should see an performance increase :)

Update 16 Release Notes (02/10/2016)

  • Further performance improvements
  • Plant size now updates correctly if you change the genetics
  • Resource buildings now have displays telling you how much resource they are generating

Update 16b Release Notes (07/10/2016)

  • Fixed a memory management issue which was limiting the number of seeds which could coexist at one time
  • Reduced initial loading time

Update 17 Release Notes (22/11/2016)

  • The controls are now displayed when mousing over a button in the system menu
  • Tweeked blood effects
  • Carnivores can now eat herbivore eggs
  • Tweeked model to make it slightly easier to manage your ecosystem
  • Reduced radiation levels
  • Added message to suggest players use controller
  • Improved skybox color to help make UI easier to read
  • Slight optimisation of plant behaviour
  • Added death animations for all organisms

Update 17b Release Notes (4/12/2016)

  • Updated to Unity 5.5
  • Revamped keyboard and mouse controls
  • Added some post processing

Update 18 Release Notes (11/12/2016)

  • Changed model to try and increase the turnover of generations
  • Increased plant performance by updating height less frequently (animation less smooth but it has doubled the framerate late game)
  • Performance optimisations
  • Fixed bug where force field was not working
  • Changed player controller implementation (introduced a bug where players can fly through the ground - whoops)

Launch Build Release Notes (28/12/2016)

  • Increased target frame rate for dynamic optimisations
  • Decreased map size to improve performance
  • Fixed bug introduced in last patch which allowed player to move through objects
  • Clamped vertical camera control which should stop the camera weirdness some players have observed
  • I've removed the inspector - may be controversial for some but I'm trying to cut things to make the game more simple/elegant
  • Added an interactive tutorial
  • Added a 'Research Unlocked' message
  • Added FOV and camera sensitivity sliders
  • Changed highlighted UI colour

v1.1 Release Notes (04/01/2017)

  • The genetic engineering unlock functions have now changed. Instead of changing the maximum potential gene now you can create species with exactly the genes you want.
  • Only one of the science/genetics/graph panels appears at one time now

v1.2 Release Notes (19/01/2017)

  • Attempt to fix a cursor bug with linux build
  • Improved performance of creature AI

v1.3 Release Notes (25/01/2017)

  • Fixed bug where cursor doesn't appear in main menu
  • Replaced genetic code with names in the dropdown unlock menu
  • Added an 'Unlock All' button in the system menu which unlocks all genes without the need to research science.
  • Introduced premium version, this version, the demo will be frozen at v1.2

I'm on a Mac so I'd like a Mac build please ;)


I'll compile a build when I get home from work :)

So you are managing to run the Mac build fine? Maybe only people who can't run it let me know...

Yeah, the version I have runs w/o problem. The only issue is that it didn't map my controller properly, so I had to play with keyboard/mouse.


It's up


v1.4 Release Notes (29/01/2017)

  • Replaced text to speech with voice acting by Daniel van der Winkel

v1.5 Release Notes (08/02/2017)

  • When you look at a research station the relevant button is selected automatically
  • You can no longer accidentally select the system menu when navigating with the cursor keys
  • Tutorial message stays on screen more
  • Fixed bug in creature behavior and improved performance

v1.6 Release Notes (05/03/2017)

  • Changed some wording for controls
  • Removed save location text
  • Research UI stays when looking at a research station
  • Improvements to memory management
  • Fire effect looks correct on larger plants
  • Performance improvements
  • Re-balanced level curves
  • Added background panels to UI
  • Buildings menu appears when upgrade button is available - to help you compare prices of upgrades to buying new buildings
  • Improved control information

im not gone yet XD whats next? a new game or more updates cant wait to see what you come up with that game was hours of fun tinkering and experimenting and it was quite different


:) I'm going to work on the steam version as long as people are interested, then move on to my next project.  

Not sure what to do with that... people obviously really like the idea of an evolution game ....but I have a space RTS/god game in my head right now...